What to watch for in Atlanta Falcons vs. Cincinnati Bengals - ESPN
There has been plenty of talk about how the Falcons plan to defend elite Bengals receiver A.J. Green. The Baltimore Ravens zoned him in with three players, at times, last week. Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant would love to get a shot at going one-on-one against Green. "He's a very good all-around receiver,” Trufant said. "He can run. He' s shifty. He's quick. He can stretch the field; has intermediate routes. You've got to get in his face and put your hands on him. I think that's the best thing to slow him down; just being physical and being confident."
On Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons will travel to Paul Brown Stadium to play the Cincinnati Bengals; a team that has not lost a regular season home game since 2012. Although many people believe the Falcons can win a road game in Cincinnati a week after the team beat the New Orleans Saints in Atlanta, I don’t see this happening.
The Falcons will likely be playing a tough Cincinnati defense without Jake Matthews at left tackle. I like the Bengals offense better than the Falcons defense and I think that the Bengals will be able to limit Roddy White and Julio Jones. Prediction: Bengals 28, Falcons 10
The Cincinnati Bengals have given back so much to the rest of the NFL over the years. Prior to the team’s 2011 reclamation, opposing team’s enjoyed assumptive wins over the Bengals for so long that it seemed they were simply giving them away. They were taken for granted and largely overlooked when the opposition saw them on the schedule. But nobody is ignoring the Bengals now and the opposition is paying closer attention to the Bengals both when seeing them on the schedule and when looking for potential talent to acquire.
Vaughn McClure: The Falcons have won the past three meetings between the teams, including a 39-32 victory behind Matt Ryan in 2010. In fact, the Falcons averaged 32.7 points per game in those three meetings. The Falcons outscored last season's fourth-ranked defense last week with a 37-34 overtime win over the Saints in the opener. Let's see if they outscore last season's third-ranked defense, too. Falcons 30, Bengals 21 Coley Harvey: Paul Brown Stadium in its most recent history has been an unkind venue for opposing teams. Yes, the Chargers proved otherwise in January with their 27-10 wild-card playoff victory, but in the regular season, it's been a different story. Since their nine-game, regular-season winning streak started, the Bengals have scored an average of 33.1 points at home per game compared to the 16.8 points it has allowed. The Falcons, meanwhile, were 1-7 on the road last season. Cincinnati will tie the franchise record of 10 consecutive regular-season home wins. Bengals 27, Falcons 23
This is one of the week's better games. The Bengals looked really dominant on defense for three quarters against the Ravens. The Falcons looked unstoppable on offense against the Saints. What gives? I see Matt Ryan having another good game, but the Bengals find a way at home.
Lost in the ongoing (and perhaps soon to be resolved) question of whether the NFL's blackout policy should continue is the reality that the NFL has had no games blacked out through the first two weeks of the 2014 regular season. Which makes us wonder why the blackout policy even matters.